BY: Neighbors’ Consejo|
July is not only a month of summer warmth and celebration, but it also holds significant importance for raising awareness about mental health in minority communities. July is recognized as minority mental health month, and it isan opportune time to shed light on the unique challenges and experiences faced by these communities. In this article, we explore the significance of addressing mental health within minority populations, examine the cultural factors that influence mental wellbeing, and highlight the importance of inclusive and equitable mental health support.
What is a minority? “An ethnic, religious or linguistic minority is any group of persons which constitutes less than half of the population in the entire territory of a State whose members share common characteristics of culture, religion or language, or a combination of any of these  .”
Who is a member of a minority  ?
- Indigenous peoples may constitute linguistic, religious, or ethnic minorities in the States in which they find themselves. Both are not mutually exclusive, nor undermine any applicable rights as a minority or indigenous people.
- The “territory” to consider in determining whether a group is a linguistic, religious, or ethnic minority is the entire territory of a State, and not one of its political or territorial subunits.
- One of the main objective criteria for determining whether a group is a minority in a State is a numerical one. A minority in the territory of a State means it is not the majority. Objectively, that means that an ethnic, religious or linguistic group makes up less than half the population of a country.
“The US presents a minority and indigenous situation of unusual diversity and complexity. There are seven key minority and indigenous groupings: Latinos (including Puerto Ricans), African Americans, Asian Americans, Arab and other Middle Eastern Americans, Native Americans, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, and Alaska Natives  .” According to the American Psychiatric Association  , “Racial/ethnic, gender, and sexual minorities often suffer from poor mental health outcomes due to multiple factors including inaccessibility of high-quality mental health care services, cultural stigma surrounding mental health care, discrimination, and overall lack of awareness about mental health.” If you want to read more and in detail about mental health in minorities, please visit https://www.psychiatry.org/psychiatrists/diversity/education/mental-health-facts#:~:text=Racial%2Fethnic%2C%20gender%2C%20and,of%20awareness%20about%20mental%20health
In conclusion, the recognition of July as the month of minority mental health serves as a reminder of the additional work needed to support the wellbeing of marginalized communities. By amplifying the voices and experiences of minority populations we can strive for greater inclusivity and equity in mental healthcare. That is why here, at Neighbors’ Consejo, we provide free services for all our neediest neighbors in Washington D.C., specially minorities.